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Birmingham boss McLeish plays down O'Neill rivalry

Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish says his Glasgow rivalry with Martin O'Neill won't spill over against Aston Villa.

New Blues boss McLeish and O'Neill faced off in many a rare old battle in the Glasgow derby for Rangers and Celtic respectively.

McLeish admitted that he didn't always enjoy the best of results, but the Ibrox club were in a period when financial constraints hit hard.

"I have huge respect for Martin," said McLeish. "He did a great job in the Premier League in the past and he's doing it again now.

"We have got to try and match what Martin is doing [at Villa]- or even better it. But at the moment, you look after the teams around us at the moment and we have to try and steer clear of them.

"I think Martin beats me hands down in derby days. The first seven games when I went to Rangers, it was pretty much stalemate.

"Celtic didn't win in seven then we lost seven in a row to them, which was horrendous. The trophy hauls were more even. But it wasn't about me and Martin, it was about players of course.

"The challenge for people, myself and Martin, was to get the best out of what you had and make sure the players could do it on the day. That will be the same here."

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Tribal Football Staff

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